Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Leopoldo (Fortunato) Galtieri

war national junta president

Argentinian soldier and junta president (1981–2), born in Caseras, Buenos Aires. Trained at the National Military College, he progressed to the rank of lieutenant-general (1979), when he joined the ruling junta, becoming its president. To deflect attention from a worsening national economy he ordered the invasion of the long-disputed Malvinas (Falkland) Is in 1982. Their recovery by Britain, after a brief and humiliating war, brought about his downfall. He was court-martialled in 1983 and sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for negligence in starting and losing the Falklands War. He was released in 1990 following a presidential pardon. In July 2002 an Argentine judge ruled that he should face charges arising from his role in the war and placed him under house arrest.

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